Violated: Audra McDonald Calls Out Playgoer Who Snapped Photo of Her During Nude Scene

Audra McDonald performing in London, April 2017
Photo: Jeff Spicer (Getty)

The the-a-tah (or theater to the uninitiated) used to be should be a bastion of taste, class and grace as we immerse ourselves fully in the world being created on the stage by actors of immense skill and talent.

But somebody violated what should have been a safe space of artistic expression over the weekend when they decided it would be a cool thing to take a photo of Broadway great Audra McDonald as she performed in the nude during a scene in the stage play Frankie and Johnny.

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As the Guardian explains, the play, showing at Broadway’s Clair de Lune at the Broadhurst Theatre, is a romance that opens with the two characters engaged in a passionate sex scene.

The theater has a strict “no photos” policy, but apparently, someone didn’t get the memo.

McDonald, a six-time Tony Award winner who’s known for her performances in such productions as Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Porgy & Bess and A Raisin in the Sun, took to Twitter to express her disappointment and displeasure.

“Not cool,” she tweeted. “Not cool at all.”

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As Deadline noted, many of McDonald’s followers, especially those in the theater world, expressed sympathy and outrage:

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Yes, and this is why we can’t have nice things. People just don’t know how to act. Makes one think comedian Dave Chappelle wasn’t crazy when he demanded that attendees at his recent standup shows place their phones in special locked bags to prevent anyone from recording his performances.

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Maybe the theater will have to start instituting similar policies.

And, really, would that be so bad?

I know, I know, maybe I’m old old-fashioned, but there really is something to be said about being fully present for an event and not simultaneously engaged with one’s phone.

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IJS.

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